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*My post below, in its entirety can be found on the Globoforce blog as well.  Check them out for great content too! -DB 

After 20 years in corporate HR, I needed a change of scenery. Now a member of the “gig-economy,” working for myself has been an adventure. Most “consultants” tell you the biggest adjustment they have switching from corporate-to-home is being alone. I am no exception.

As someone who is energized by people, loves leading teams, and enjoys sparing over the latest “Black Mirror” episode, it was a bit jarring. The fact is, at times I’m just plain lonely. As I tell some people, my cat Emma has become my “Wilson.” (Actually, since she runs the house, I’m probably her Wilson!)

I’ve come to find, loneliness isn’t just a work-from-home issue, but also a workplace epidemic. We are more connected than ever yet are failing to make human connections. Don’t get me wrong, being alone is OK. But when alone-ness turns into loneliness, the workplace consequences can be rough.

Why should HR care? I mean, if an employee doesn’t let you know he is lonely and still gets his work done, is it HR’s business? The answer is yes.

2018 job growth is better than expected and the unemployment rate (4.1%) is the lowest in the last 18 years. Employees can easily find greener pastures where they won’t be lonely.

Being ignored (a cause of loneliness) for long periods causes significant burnout. Most people equate burnout with physical exhaustion, however, loneliness causes an anguish that takes up mental bandwidth leading to a decrease in cognitive abilities. Yikes.
Loneliness creates employee disengagement. A disengaged employee is never good for business.

Loneliness is bad for your health. It is a literal killer. One HBR article stated, “Research by Sarah Pressman… demonstrates that while obesity reduces longevity by 20%, drinking by 30%, and smoking by 50%, loneliness reduces it by a whopping 70%.”
HR, it’s time to put down the policy book and focus on your most important work. This is the work of building connections, inspiring trust-base practices, and creating positive employee experiences.

Here are seven ways HR can mitigate loneliness in the workplace…

To read the rest of Seven Tips To Prevent Loneliness – , read the rest of my post here on the Globoforce Blog 

Published by

Dawn Hrdlica-Burke

VP People & Culture/ Talent Consulting at Kinetix. Advisor. Speaker. Writer.

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